BLACK TIDE by KC JONES

Black Tide is described as a character-driven science fiction/ horror novel about what happens after a cataclysmic event leaves a world crawling with nightmares. Cujo meets A Quiet Place.

Beth is a self-described car wreck. Wasting a life wandering. She’s trying to change and so far she is doing well housesitting. On the Pacific Coast where billionaires from Silicon Valley have built massive homes by the beach. This time it’s for a couple who is out of the country. She also is dog sitting. And doing a responsible and safe job of it. Which for her is boring but no one has gotten hurt yet.

Mike is the next-door neighbor. Dealing with his own demons. When he and Beth meet over the fence and share a lot of champagne, they wake up to chaos and the world turned on its head.

They thought it was a simple meteor shower. It was not. And now they are stranded with no help and a lot of screams along with a dog who is not happy!

Aliens, strange lights, people disappearing in horrible ways, all of that, and more. For myself, there were a lot of plot holes, and I would have probably left Beth and the dog!

NetGalley/ May 31st. 2022 by Nightfire



THE ISLAND by ADRIAN McKINTY

From the Best Selling Author of The Chain comes a new and explosive new thriller. The Island grabs your attention on page one and doesn’t let up at all.

Heather Baxter is still getting used to being married. A girl from a small island, she moved to Seattle and became a massage therapist. This is where she meets Tom. A doctor whose wife died in a fall down the stairs of their home. He has two kids, Olivia who is fourteen but looks like sixteen, and Owen who is eleven. Oh, they hate Heather. They are rude and spoiled and for some reason, medicated.

When Tom is invited to Australia to speak at a convention of other doctors the kids beg to go and maybe this is what they need to come together as a new family. It is not.

The kids are bored, Heather is sick of them and Tom is sketchy from day one. When someone tells them about Dutch Island, the kids beg to go after being told of all the koalas on the island. But the island is not open for company. There is one ferry that takes people out and back. But only the family who lives on the island. But of course, they all beg to go, and soon a German couple is asking as well.

Shortly after landing, they are told to be back by a specific time. There are no phones or internet on the island and they need to be off the island. But a horrific accident puts them on a collision course with the insane clan who lives there and suddenly Tom is gone and Heather turns into John McClane of Die Hard.

Sick and tired of being underestimated, Heather takes control of the situation in a way that had me wondering if she was secretly CIA! There was so much tension in this book, you could feel the heat and smell the fear.

I loved Heather. They never saw her coming. It was thrilling!

Soon to be a Hulu series.

NetGalley/May 17th, 2022 Little, Brown & Company

JUST LIKE MOTHER by ANNE HELTZEL

Well, this one started with a bang! Two children, little girls, cousins, walk into the woods and one turns into something insane.

The last time Maeve saw her cousin Andrea was when she fled the weird cult they were being raised in. The police moved in pretty quick and arrested all of the ‘mothers’. And from there the girls’ lives took many different turns.

Maeve wants to forget. She has walls securely built and isn’t letting anyone in. And when Andrea finds her again, Maeve is conflicted but Andrea is the only family she has.

Andrea seems to have it all. The house in the Catskills, a perfect husband and a brand built on having babies. It’s almost cult-like followers are about as crazy as they come. And soon Maeve is bowing to the wishes of her cousin, and spending almost all of her time at her cousin’s house with a bunch of nuts.

All they talk about are babies. The only reason we exist. Helping women have babies is a noble cause but this is not that. As happy as Andrea seems, she can’t have the one thing she wants. A child. She expects Maeve to lend her an egg or two and that is when Maeve finds her spine and refuses.

The weirder things get, the more memories Maeve is finding. Of what their past was really like and what they hid behind locked doors. Will she make it out alive?

Talk about your scary reads! This was some seriously messed-up stuff that was going on in this book. And the ending was a bit shadowy.

NetGalley/May 17, 2022, Tor MacMillan Forge


DECIMATE by CHRISTOPHER RICE

Decimate

Claire and her brother, Poe, were on a camping trip with their father. The one who is passed out drunk in front of the fire. Poe insists on going into the woods to explore and Claire reluctantly goes along even though it is pitch black and they have no idea where they are going.

In the next minute, the Montana woods explode. A blinding light and a pulse of energy knock them down the mountainside leaving them injured and not at all sure what has happened to them. Their father is screaming aliens and after that their mother divorces him and keeps Claire while their Dad keeps Poe.

Even apart they feel connected somehow. Something has happened to them and they both handle it by self-medicating and ignoring the whole thing. Until a tragedy occurs and Claire must return to Montana for answers.

This is a story of life and death. Near-death experiences taken to the next level. What does happen at the moment of death? And what happened to them as kids? The answers will blow your mind.

Always a pleasure to read Rice.

NetGalley/ : May 10th, 2022 Thomas & Mercer

DEATH OF THE BLACK WIDOW by JAMES PATTERSON AND J.D. BARKER

One Kiss and you’re dead!

A rookie never forgets his first case.  

Walter O’Brien is a young, green Detroit police officer. Along with his partner, he arrives at a murder scene that will change his life. What they find are a twenty-year-old girl and a dead man. From the scene it appears that the girl was held captive on a bare mattress, tied by rope and handcuffed but now is cowering under the sink in the bathroom. Walter is tasked with taking her in but who knew she was also an escape artist. For Walter, this is a case that will haunt him for life.

Moving forward Walter is promoted to Homicide Detective. And still, he hunts the elusive young woman. When bodies begin to pile up with the same m.o. as in the first case, Walter is obsessed with finding this woman, who must be much older now. One would think.

She enjoys toying with Walter and everyone else she comes in contact with dies. Why? What or who is she?

I’m always excited to see these two writing together. J.D.Barker is all over this one. Horror at its best. And the supernatural is a bit new for Patterson. This was smart, tense, and full of suspense and terror. Just the way I like it!

NetGalley/May 02,2022 Little, Brown & Company


 

 

CITY ON FIRE by DON WINSLOW

Winslow is back with the first book in a new trilogy. This time set in his own backyard. And it is fire!

The Irish and the Italians share an uneasy peace. Each controlling a different area of New England. Things seem to be pretty set in stone with the old guard being replaced by the new and sometimes impetuous generation.

Danny Ryan is part of that new generation. His father was head of the Irish until he drank himself out of that job. Now Danny is married to the daughter of the boss and looking to move up. Although he would much rather move on from that life.

The fragile peace explodes when a gorgeous woman comes into the group pitting them all against each other and leaving a trail of bodies in the streets.

With everyone turning on each other, Danny steps up. And he is ruthlessly practical. I admired that about him. I am pretty sure everyone in Providence and beyond was on the payroll of one of the gangs. And some were on both.

This is the first in a trilogy. I don’t think there is anyone better at crime thrillers than Winslow. And I read a lot! As soon as I received this I read it. All. There is no good stopping point in this book. You’re pulled through like a train gaining speed. And I can’t wait for the next one.

If you arent’ aware, Mr. Winslow is retiring. These will be his final three books. I can’t wait to join him in what comes next!





F

THE CHILDREN ON THE HILL by Jennifer McMAHON

A genre-defying new novel, inspired by Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein, which brilliantly explores the eerie mysteries of childhood and the evils perpetrated by the monsters among us.

I was more than willing to go down the rabbit hole with this one. I do love a good ghost/horror story and with a Mary Shelley-inspired piece, who could resist?

Our narration goes back and forth between 1978/80 to 2019.

In 1978 the highly regarded psychiatrist, Dr. Helen Hildreth, is working with the mentally ill in Vermont. A beautiful place on the surface. Her unorthodox methods carry over to home as well. At home, she is just grandmother to Vi and Eric, whose parents were killed in a car accident.

The kids are homeschooled and their lessons may be unorthodox, but they are also brilliant. Gran has her lab in the basement and lets them play with the mice. Eric collects injured animals from everywhere, filling his room with crippled critters. Violet is more into fighting monsters.

They have their own Monster Hunters Club where they look for clues and look for monsters who walk among us. And they don’t have to look far.

One day Gran brings them home a girl. Iris. She looks rough and has obviously had some type of brain surgery. She doesn’t talk at all but after a bit, the kids get her interested in the world and the monsters. She and Vi become inseparable.

Fast Forward to 2019. Lizzy Shelley is the host of the popular podcast Monsters Among Us and is hunting an elusive monster in Louisiana when she receives an email from a mnstrgirl. Come home, to Vermont, and find me. Lizzy understands that her past has caught up to her and one of the monsters is calling to her. Only this time she knows the monster is real because it is her sister.

Lizzy heads to Vermont to find a missing girl that a monster supposedly has taken and killed. Against all of her better judgment, Lizzy dives in and finds out just what and who a monster really is.

This was a really good read. All those ghost stories told around the campfire have nothing on this scary tale. I was shocked at the end and that is the best ending!

NetGalley/ April 26th, 2022 by Gallery/Scout Press





THE RESTING PLACE by CAMILLA STEN

The Resting Place

From the author who gave us The Lost Village comes another suspenseful and twisted tale!

I wanted this the minute it was on my radar. The Lost Village was such a good scary story.

This one did not disappoint! It had a mystery, an old house, secrets, suspicious deaths, and a very different protagonist. Eleanor has been working hard to keep her controlling and maybe crazy grandmother, Vivianne, at a distance. Lately, she has been receiving odd messages and calls from her and when she goes around for Sunday dinner, instead of a snarky Vivianne, a faceless person was stabbing her grandmother with scissors.

It isn’t like she can assist the police very much. Eleanor has prosopagnosia. Face blindness-when a person is unable to recognize even their own face. So the killer walked right by her. Does she know them? Who would know she would be unable to recognize them?

The horror of the situation has taken over everything in her life. Leaving her anxious and unsure of those around her.

After the death, she is told her grandmother left her a house. A huge estate located in Sweden. Way back in the woods. Supposedly her grandfather died in this house and it has remained closed since.

But Eleanor is determined to find answers so she and her boyfriend, Sebastian, pack up and head to the house. But her Aunt Veronika soon shows up insisting the house is hers. And then the odd things begin. Shadows, whispers, people who aren’t at all who they claim to be, and a secret that will blow your mind!

My heart was in the zone the entire time I read this book. I suspected every one of them but did not expect that ending.

This is another great novel full of horrible people, things and full of suspense! Don’t read this one in the dark!

NetGalley/Minotaur Books March 29, 2022





SUNDIAL by CATRIONA WARD

Sundial

Sundial is a twisty psychological horror novel perfect for fans of The Push and Girl A, from Catriona Ward, author of The Last House on Needless Street.

“You can only do three things with danger: run away from it, fight it, or make friends with it.”

Rob just wants to be normal. Whatever that looks like. She finally has a husband and two little girls she adores. But looks can be deceiving. When something frightening happens, all the nasty little secrets begin to come out. Finding the bones of animals in her daughter, Callie’s, room, all of her past memories come rushing to the surface. How could she have even thought her life would be normal? Despite her nasty husband, she takes Callie and flees to her family home in the Mojave Desert. Sundial. It’s time for the truth to come out.

Rob and her sister, Jack, grew up here. Surrounded by mystery and fear. Dogs and laboratories and dead things. Something is wrong with them all. But what? And can they get away?

I thought that Ward’s last book, The Last House on Needless Street, was wickedly twisted. I was wrong. This is a deeply disturbing psychological thriller that will have you wide-eyed and biting your fingernails! We have a new star in the Horror genre and I am thrilled! Next, please!

NetGalley/ March 1st, 2022 by Tor Nightfire

SUCH A PRETTY SMILE by KRISTI DEMEESTER

Such a Pretty Smile

I finished this book in one sitting. With the lights on and the doors locked.

This is for all the women who don’t want to sit still and look pretty. For the women and girls who have been patronized and marginalized by men.

Told by two rather unreliable narrators. Caroline and her daughter Lila. In 2004 Caroline is living in New Orleans. Girls have been disappearing and the bodies are found mutilated with horrific bites and scratches that leave the media calling the killer The Cur. All are young girls who won’t sit still and look pretty. The ones who refuse to be put in a box. They are opinionated and will not conform to what society wants them to be.

Caroline is having a hard time sleeping. She hears packs of dogs everywhere and loses time. Her fiance’ is also an artist and rather a jerk. Caroline has begun sculpting and the sculptures are disturbing but also gallery-worthy. With her father who is dying and a husband who is a narcissist, she has a lot of stress. Her doctor is patronizing and tells her to take a pill and it will be fine. It is not fine. Not fine at all.

Jump to 2019 and Caroline and her daughter Lila are living close to Atlanta where Caroline is now teaching and sculpting. But she is still haunted by whatever is in her past. And now girls are disappearing and found dead in the same manner as before.

Lila is hiding who and what she is from everyone. Her father and his wife in New Orleans, the school psychologist, and her mother. She feels like there is something inside of her, snarling and begging to be let out, but when she does, it backfires horribly.

I am not going any further with this story because you really need to experience it for yourself. Let me just say it has been a long time since I was this terrified for an entire book!

I can’t wait to see what comes next for this author. Look out, Stephen King!

NetGalley/ January 18th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press